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My Secret to Sanity During Quarantine: Coloring Books (plus FREE coloring pages!)

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Are you looking for an activity with your kids that will keep everyone happy? If you're anything like me, you've gone through all the construction paper, all the sticker books, and have even tossed some toilet paper rolls at your kids to keep them occupied! But one thing I keep coming back to is coloring books.

As we navigate through this challenging time, keeping our kids emotionally and mentally engaged is key. I find that coloring with my family is an extremely beneficial activity for everyone involved.

Here's why:

1. Coloring reduces stress. If your kids are nervous about what they've heard on the news, coloring has the ability to relax the fear center of your brain, which is called the amygdala. By turning off the TV and concentrating on a soothing image, the mind is able to calm down.

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2. Coloring improves sleep. Sleep is extremely important to boost the immune system and manage stress. For children who have a hard time falling asleep, Pediatric and Adult Sleep Consultant Alanna McGinn says she suggests switching out story time for coloring time!

3. Coloring creates order. It can feel scary for kids when everything they're familiar with suddenly changes. Starting a coloring project, and picking it back up the same time every day, can help to regain that sense of order that many children crave.

4. Coloring for others boosts joy. Coloring for someone else—whether it’s a family member or your local healthcare worker—is not only kind, it’s also a way to feel connected to others. Experts say that volunteering our gifts to help others can help facilitate a social connection, which helps alleviate feelings of loneliness.

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5. Coloring brings families together. For parents that may have the added task of homeschooling, coloring can help bring creativity into the house while also boosting self-esteem in children. Knowing that your children are thriving will also help to relieve stress for you.

There are many more benefits that coloring can provide for children and families. I'd love to hear how coloring impacts your family!

By the way—running out of coloring books? Check out Fox Chapel Publishing. They have several free coloring pages to download. Enjoy and be well!

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